Military Advantage

Tricare Ends Unpopular Pilot Program in Philippines

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

Tricare coverage for users living in the Philippines shifted Jan. 1 to the same system used in other areas outside the U.S., marking the end of an unpopular pilot program.

The program, known as the Philippine Demonstration, started in 2013 as officials attempted to stymie a flood of provider fraud in that country.

Rather than allow any provider to become a part of Tricare's preferred provider network as is done in other OCONUS locations, Tricare officials instead "certified" each provider it worked with in the country, officials said. Doing so helped guard against fraud while also making sure providers were qualified, they said.

But the approximately 10,000 military retirees living on the country's 2,000 inhabited islands complained that the program forced them to travel long distances, often between islands, to be seen, and created confusion about who and what was covered.

Rather than extend the program or expand it to other areas, Tricare officials chose to let it terminate on its originally scheduled date of Dec. 31, 2017.

That means Tricare users -- and providers -- in the Philippines will instead use the same overseas Tricare Select system, formerly known as Standard, used elsewhere outside the U.S., officials said.

Learn more about Tricare's OCONUS coverage.

-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com.

Show Full Article

Most Popular Military Pay Articles

2018 Military Pay Charts

Check out the 2018 US military pay scale charts for all ranks for active duty, as well as Reserve and Guard components.

Military Retired Pay Overview

The military retirement system is arguably the best one around, but proper planning is needed to ensure you can retire comfor...

COLA for Retired Pay

Each year military retirees receive a Cost of Living Adjustment to their retirement pay. The increase is based on inflation.